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How to Treat Crying and Colic in Babies

Medically Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on September 10, 2019

Coping with a colicky baby can be terribly difficult for parents. Remember that colic is common and it won't last forever. It starts at approximately 3 weeks of age and is usually gone by the time a baby is 3 months old.

Call Doctor If:

1. Start With the Basics

  • Change your baby's diaper.
  • Offer your baby the chance to nurse or a bottle.
  • Use a pacifier.
  • Burp your baby.
  • Hold and rock your baby, or use a swing or bouncer if your baby is old enough.
  • Make sure your baby is not too hot or cold.
  • If breastfeeding, can try to cut down on milk, spicy foods, citrus, and caffeine in your diet. However, colic is usually not related to anything mom has eaten.

2. Shift Positions

  • Hold your baby facing down with your hand under their belly and their head on your forearm. It's called a football hold.
  • Put your baby in a wearable carrier.
  • Swaddle your baby in a blanket or swaddling wrap.

3. Move

  • Put your baby in a baby swing or take them for a walk in a stroller.
  • Put your baby's chair next to (but not on) a vibrating washer or dryer. There are also vibrating soothers that come in the shape of a stuffed animal or a wand. These can be placed near baby or in the lining of a car seat.
  • Put your baby in a car seat and drive, as long as you are awake enough to drive safely.

4. Use Soothing Noises

  • Use an app that produces white noise -- or a vacuum or fan -- in your baby's room.
  • Sing or make a shushing sound directly into your baby's ear.

5. Take Breaks

  • When possible, ask your partner or another family member to take a turn with your baby.
  • Don’t get burned out. When you need to, put your crying baby down and take a break in another room for a few minutes to recharge.
  • You may want to talk with your pediatrician about probiotic supplements or feeding changes to help with colic,
WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Colic."

HealthyChildren.org: "Calming a Fussy Baby."

Karp, H. TheHappiest Baby on the Block, Bantam Books, 2002.

Murkoff, H., Eisenberg, A., Hathaway, S. What to Expect The First Year, Workman, 2003.

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